Outside of "my" house one of the very few days with rainy weather
It's almost ten years ago that I started to plan my high school exchange year. It was winter, I wanted to get away and learn English. Other than that, I did not know what to expext.
I started to think what I learned that year which is still with me.
- the value of a good meal with good friends or family at a restaurant or diner or yogurt place.
- to watch movies and TV series (Finding Nemo, Lord of the Rings, Minority Report, The Princess Bride and Signs come to mind).
- to go to Sunday church service every Sunday
- a lot about Mormonism and some about the Catholic church
- my love of British literature and a fascination of physics
- to dare to speak English
- how easy it can be to have a party: ask everyone to bring a dish to a potluck and use plastic or disposable plates and utensils
- a love of Rich Mullin's music
- the blue and green monsters that my little sister watched almost every day: the Grinch, Monsters Inc, Lilo and Stich and Shrek.
- an understanding that 9/11 made an inpact on American people comparable to what Norwegians felt about WW2 (and now after 22nd of July)
- the smell of Orange blossoms
- the routines my host family had to strengthen their family: family night once a week, a weekly date of my host parents, a short prayer with the whole family both before school and at bedtime...
- the short distance between poor and very rich
- a more nuanced view of the USA
If you are curious about exchanges I recommend AFS, both for going abroad and for hosting.